Table of Contents
ISRN Anatomy
Volume 2013, Article ID 501813, 3 pages
Research Article

Posterior Cord of Brachial Plexus and Its Branches: Anatomical Variations and Clinical Implication

1Department of Anatomy, L.N. Medical College and J.K. Hospital, Sector-C Sarvdharm, Kolar Road, Bhopal, India
2Department of Pediatrics, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, India

Received 14 August 2012; Accepted 11 September 2012

Academic Editors: A. Hiura, G. S. Kayalioglu, and G. Tender

Copyright © 2013 Rakhi Rastogi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Knowledge of anatomical variations of posterior cord and its branches is important not only for the administration of anaesthetic blocks but also for surgical approaches to the neck, axilla, and upper arm. The present study aimed to record the prevalence of such variations with embryological explanation and clinical implication. Material and Method. 37 formalin-preserved cadavers, that is, 74 upper extremities from the Indian population, constituted the material for the study. Cadavers were dissected during routine anatomy classes for medical undergraduate. Dissection includes surgical incision in the axilla, followed by retraction of various muscles, to observe and record the formation and branching pattern of posterior cord of brachial plexus. Results. Posterior cord was formed by union of posterior division of C5 and C6 roots with posterior division of middle and lower trunk (there was no upper trunk) in 16.2% of upper extremities. Posterior cord of brachial plexus was present lateral to the second part of axillary artery in 18.9% of upper extremities. Axillary nerve was taking origin from posterior division of upper trunk in 10.8% upper extremities and thoracodorsal nerve arising from axillary nerve in 22.9% upper extremities. Conclusion. It is important to be aware of such variations while planning a surgery in the region of axilla as these nerves are more liable to be injured during surgical procedures.